For most people, their Email Management feels like the video below:
They feel overwhelmed, stressed, and ‘if only they could get an extra day, they’d get on top of things’. Here’s the bad news: They won’t. You won’t. The number of emails continues to grow. In fact, it is estimated that 293.6 billion emails will be sent this year. Moreover, there is no sign of them slowing down. So, you have 3 options:
Accept that emails are here to stay. It is overwhelming. However, emails are a necessary evil. You have to live with it.
Search for hints, tips and tricks to improve your email management. They exist. We have a bunch on our website. The truth is that they may help to some extent. They’ll not achieve the result you want because a significant change in results needs a significant change in behaviour. Yet, hints, tips and tricks will make you feel as though you are trying to address the problem.
Change your behaviours to improve your email management. You’ll say you want to. Do you really? Changing behaviours and creating new habits is not easy. It means that you need to break old habits and start new habits. It’s all to do with the change formula…
David Gleicher created the change formula in the early 1960s. This was later refined by Kathie Dannemiller in the 1980s, according to Wikipedia. The change formula consists of 4 parts in an equation written as:
- D is for Dissatisfaction – How dissatisfied is the person with the current situation?
- V is for Vision – How much does the person see a vision for how it could be?
- F is for the First step – How well can the person understand the first steps that need to be taken?
- R is for Resistance – How much resistance is there to change?
The formula works by each of the first 3 parts being multiplied and if they are bigger than the resistance, change happens. If any of these first 3 parts are zero, then the multiplication makes the sum of the 3 parts very low and the chances of overcoming the resistance are too very low.
Did You Choose Option 3?
If you did, read on. If you didn’t, that’s ok. As long as you made a conscious choice.
By choosing Option 3 you are fed-up enough with the current way of things that you want to change. If your vision is to manage emails better; Less stress, and not being overwhelmed, then it is possible.
The first step for better email management is using the 4D tool. It is a model for helping you to make quick decisions about each email. You’ll find resistance because changing behaviours is hard. If you want it bad enough, you can have it.
- Do it – You only choose ‘Do it’ if you can do it in under 3-minutes.
- Delegate – You only choose ‘Delegate’ if you delegate well. Do not abdicate because it will come back to bite you later as another email, or even more emails!
- Decide When – You only choose ‘Decide When’ if you trust that you will look at it again at another point when your head is clearer. This is where you put the 176 (20%) emails so that you can give them the time later that they deserve.
- Drop It – You only choose ‘Drop It’ when you can delete it. Remembering the phrase, ‘If I delete this what is the worst that could happen?’. If you know and can live with the worst, press delete.